Fossil energy gets nine times more support than electric cars and energy efficiency, report – Executive Digest

The energy crisis has a double effect: on the one hand, it is a strong blow to the transition to renewable energies, which are not only cleaner, but also more economical than their counterparts of fossil origin. On the other hand, it forced governments around the world to double subsidies for gas, diesel and petrol to protect their consumers and prevent an inflationary crisis from escalating.

The result of this second force is that in 2023 public aid for dirty fuels worldwide was nine times more than that used for electric cars, energy efficiency and heat pumps: 574 billion euros compared to less than 65 billion, according to figures published last Thursday. International Energy Agency (IEA).

“This is due to the need for many governments, especially in emerging or developing countries, to maintain affordable energy prices. But this also introduces barriers to change, especially after this intervention, when the price of fossil fuels remains below their market value”, say experts from the Paris-based organization, which supports this Criticized as “poorly focused” and “disproportionate”. “Higher income earners benefit, and they tend to be higher energy users.

The conclusion of the OECD’s energy division is clear: the rapid development of clean technologies will not increase the final price more than is still assumed in some parts of society – especially due to years of private renewable energy. Energy is expensive, but it also makes it cheap. “New investment is needed to position the world to reach the net-zero emissions target by 2050, but it cuts the operating costs of the global energy system by more than half compared to the scenario achievable under current policies”, he reports.

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Solar and wind, he insists, have long been two cheap technologies for generating electricity. Electric vehicles, although slightly more expensive than combustion vehicles, are more economical throughout their useful life because electricity is much cheaper than petrol and diesel; A gap, not diminishing, is increasingly widening. And heat pumps are more efficient than natural gas heaters and traditional air conditioners.

“The faster the energy transition takes place, the more economical it will be for public coffers, companies and households,” says Fatih Birol, Executive Director of AIE. On the other hand, “If politicians and industry leaders postpone investment today, we will all pay more tomorrow: the way to make energy more affordable is to accelerate the transition, not slow it down”, he adds. Time to plead with families, communities and low-income countries to do “more” to transition to clean technologies.

According to IEA statistics, almost half (45%) of investment in energy transition is carried out by private companies, while 35% falls on states and the remaining 20% ​​on households. Each of them, with their own challenges: governments see their capacity as “constrained” by their own fiscal constraints and debt; Firms with high energy use face “intense” international competition and, in many cases, reduced margins; And most housing investments are made by high-income households.

“Without more supportive policies, the uptake of solar panels for self-consumption, aerothermal energy or electric cars will be much slower than needed,” the IEA experts warn.

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